Hidden Door Bookshelf - How To
In one wall of my home office is a 5 feet tall 2 feet wide door to access the storage area and crawl space under the garage. This is where we put holiday decorations, old stuff, and junk.
This wall was the perfect spot for floor to ceiling bookshelves, which I have done lots of, but it had this door in the middle of the wall. The perfect answer was a bookshelf that opened.
One day my father in law visited and we started drawing pictures of how book shelf hidden door could work, how to hinge, where to hinge, how to hide opening, etc. Following are the highlights from the journey that followed.
With a pin I tried different pivot ideas, validating my measurements. The goal was to have the vertical gap between moving shelf box and fixed shelves be covered with a single 4.5" trim piece.
I added a better drawing of the key part of the unit, the moving center. The left and right side shelves are not to scale. This was made with visio, which lets you adjust the rotation point, so i could simulate the shelves opening to show clearance.The visio file is attached if can read it. the close up is where i notched the vertical trim to allow the horizontal trim to pivot "through" it.
The steel frame would pivot on a upper and lower anchor point, mounted to ceiling and floor respectively.
This let me position and place the top anchor, base anchor, and frame. I attached top anchor loosely letting it rock, slipped in frame and bottom anchor on pin (with 2 washers on pin above bearing), then slid the whole set into place. A plum bob hanging along the edge of the frame made it quick to tell if it was vertical in both directions. When true, I secured bolts on both ends. I tested the swing of the door frame with ~500 lbs of people standing in it. Dead smooth action.
The 4.5 inch trim left and right of the shelf-door, the right side is fixed to the fixed shelf, the left side moves with the door.I had to bevel notches in the trim on the right because the horizontal trim dives under it as the door opens. I also had to slightly round the horizontal pieces to slip underneath smoothly.
I am not the best woodworker, and the materials ( mdf and particle board ) are less than optimum, and the walls are crooked, but the results were great. Nobody would ever see the finished wall and think "Hey I wonder if that is a door?"
all in all i have about $350 in the project.
open the door
close the door
thanks for all the feedback!